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Raiders a great test for whether Packers defense will turn around

Eli Manning AP

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote a great piece this week on the Packers defense.

We recommend reading the whole thing, but the takeaway is that Packers fans shouldn’t expect great improvement down the stretch. After 12 games, what you see is what you get.

What you get is a defense that gives up a lot of yards, forces a lot of turnovers, and is middle-of-the road in points allowed. They aren’t nearly as dangerous a group as last year, but the defense isn’t nearly as bad as the defensive ranking suggests. (Points are a tad more important than yards.)

Packers coach Mike McCarthy predictably differs from Silverstein’s take. The coach expects improvement.

“We’re playing winter football now,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “We’re going to play four games here all in winter conditions. And three of them on Lambeau Field. We’re going to make the adjustment. I’m fully confident that we’re going to play championship defense down the stretch here.”

This week’s game against Oakland is a great test of that theory. This is a hurting Raiders offense.

Without Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, and Taiwan Jones, the Raiders are lacking their best playmakers. The receivers drop passes and run the wrong routes. Oakland didn’t have a touchdown until garbage time against Miami. The Bears kept the Raiders out of the end zone until very late in the game two weeks ago despite negative help from the Bears offense.

The late season Packers defense of 2010 would handle this Raiders offense easily.

This Packers group is more likely to make some big plays, give up some big plays, and just do enough to win.

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57 Responses to “Raiders a great test for whether Packers defense will turn around”
  1. stoogy says: Dec 8, 2011 11:08 AM

    raiders win 34-31

  2. rpiotr01 says: Dec 8, 2011 11:12 AM

    Only team that’s beating GB in the NFC is the Saints. GB’s offense, while potent, has been a little off the past few games, and NO’s offense is clicking like mad right now. Both defenses give up a lot, but if GB’s defense can’t make the big stop or big turnover, that should give NO just enough to win.

  3. rayguyreturns says: Dec 8, 2011 11:14 AM

    That’s kind of like saying: “If we tie both his arms around his back, and hog tie his legs, our defense should show improvement.
    Duh.

  4. simpmcgee says: Dec 8, 2011 11:18 AM

    This Packer D gives up a ton of yards but locks down pretty well in the red zone. Also #1 in INTs this year. I still don’t see any team beating them.

  5. bringbacktheflex says: Dec 8, 2011 11:18 AM

    “the Raiders are lacking their best playmakers. ”

    “This week’s game against Oakland is a great test of that theory (that they are going to play championship defense).”

    How in the world do you reconcile those two statements? Any highschool newpaper editor would understand the oxymoronic aspect of this article.

    “We’re going to show how great we are by beating a team that has limited offense. Watch how great we’ll be.”

  6. purpleguy says: Dec 8, 2011 11:24 AM

    Huh? The Raiders a great test? Hardly, based on last week’s offensive performance? However, the Pack D performance isn’t that important as long as Rodgers stays healthy.

  7. angelosdraftboard says: Dec 8, 2011 11:26 AM

    Packer’s have no defense but it doesn’t matter when your offense can outscore every team in football. I heard some Packer defense apologists pointing to the number of interceptions this year as proof of a good defense. No, thats proof that every opponent is playing from behind every week so they have to put the ball in the air too much. This team is like the Bizzaro World version of the Ravens the year they won a SB with Trent Dilfer !! I don’t see the Lombard Trophy leaving town this season do you ?

  8. thehatefulnerd says: Dec 8, 2011 11:28 AM

    Dom Capers’ defense has NEVER let us down once, until last week. But I don’t think it’s because they’re bad. It’s because the Giants were playing well. AND because the Packers’ defense was missing about 5 starters, including Charles Woodson and both inside LBs. (We also lost pro bowler Nick Collins earlier this year.) Mike Neal is just returning now and working himself into football shape.
    So yeah, they allowed a late score for the first time in years.
    If you look at passer rating differential between Arodge and what the defense allows, we are playing extremely well. The defense has just been sealing it with interceptions instead of forced punts.

  9. joetoronto says: Dec 8, 2011 11:28 AM

    Bush should be able to abuse the middle of the Packer defense.

    Keep pounding Bush and spell him with Reece, then take the odd shot downfield to Bey.

    Wimbley needs to really bring it when he hits Rodgers, like REALLY bring it.

  10. johnnyjagfan says: Dec 8, 2011 11:29 AM

    All I know is that if I’m McFadden, I’m furious at the docs that diagnosed a foot injury that may be good after a bye week and over a month later I’m still sitting. Did he need surgery?

  11. nineroutsider says: Dec 8, 2011 11:31 AM

    Not really, the Packers are playing a much more aggressive style of D, that is how they are jumping so many routes and getting picks, it is also how they are giving up big plays. They will go back to tighter coverages in the playoffs and play like they did last year.

  12. almighty1 says: Dec 8, 2011 11:33 AM

    I predict my packers will make Carson Palmer look much better than he is and make Michael Bush look like an all pro. But the pack will still win the game.

  13. bearsrulepackdrool says: Dec 8, 2011 11:34 AM

    I doubt it. If the Dolphins can man-handle him last week, I think the Pack will dominate.

  14. packfaninchitown says: Dec 8, 2011 11:35 AM

    Hawk, Woodson, Bishop out recently, Collins out for the year and Neal out until recently. Return of some starters will definitely improve the defense going into the playoffs.

  15. illiniftw says: Dec 8, 2011 11:40 AM

    Are people going to talk about how lucky the Packers are schedule wise like they did the Bears last year?

    Broncos – before Tebow and defense start clicking
    Rams – Bad team + injuries
    Lions – Get Stafford twice after hurt finger + all other injuries
    Giants – Key injuries
    Raiders – Lots of injuries
    Chiefs – Watch out for the Palko-mary
    Bears – No Cutler or Forte for second game

    I will admit Green Bay is scary good (kills me as a Bears fan) but that is 8 of 16 games that should be easy.

  16. playinpossum says: Dec 8, 2011 11:40 AM

    hey rpi, remember last year when NO lost to the Seahwaks in the playoffs?? a 7-9 team?? haha, I am so sick of everyone all over the Saints.

  17. nflofficeadmin says: Dec 8, 2011 11:41 AM

    The lack of transparency on the McFadden injury is disappointing. For the number of weeks McFadden has been out, this must have been the worst mid foot sprain in the history of feet.

  18. mondzy805 says: Dec 8, 2011 11:48 AM

    Would be if Run DMC was playing.

  19. dannyreneau says: Dec 8, 2011 11:48 AM

    Greeen Bays defense will be just fine. At this point people are looking for anything to prove that this team isn’t as good as it could be so that when they finally do lose, (because their sitting their starters for the playoffs) people will be able to say, “see, i told ya”

  20. packerjb says: Dec 8, 2011 11:49 AM

    Green Bay weather in December and January should slow down the offenses for both the Packers and their opponents.

    Decidedly an advantage for the Packers when facing San Francisco, New Orleans, Atlanta and maybe Dallas. Not so against the Giants or Bears.

    Biggest worry for the Packers may be the first play-off game which could be a rematch against the Giants.

  21. pack15forever says: Dec 8, 2011 11:51 AM

    rpiotr01 says:
    Dec 8, 2011 11:12 AM
    Only team that’s beating GB in the NFC is the Saints. GB’s offense, while potent, has been a little off the past few games, and NO’s offense is clicking like mad right now. Both defenses give up a lot, but if GB’s defense can’t make the big stop or big turnover, that should give NO just enough to win.

    ___________________________________

    Saints are a real good team and probably the biggest threat to the Packers but if they play the Packers in the playoffs the game will be at Lambeau Field. The temperature will not be as cozy as the dome they play in all year where they have a perfect 6-0 record. The Saints are a different team on the road, where they are 3-3 and have lost to the Packers, Rams and Bucs. The Saints score an average of 39.8 points at home but on the road that drops to 25.7 which is a two touchdown difference. I like the Packers chances.

  22. autumnwind999 says: Dec 8, 2011 11:51 AM

    Raiders win, 27-21.

    Breakdown: Despite being short-handed. Bush runs for 150+. Palmer hits some big throws in play-action. Rodgers is held to a human 250 yards, 2 TD game.

  23. bsreimer says: Dec 8, 2011 11:52 AM

    Trust Capers

  24. nyyjetsknicks says: Dec 8, 2011 11:52 AM

    Is Aaron Rodgers playing in the game? If the answer is yes, who cares about the packers d?

  25. jrmbadger says: Dec 8, 2011 11:53 AM

    “rpiotr01 says:
    Dec 8, 2011 11:12 AM
    Only team that’s beating GB in the NFC is the Saints. GB’s offense, while potent, has been a little off the past few games, and NO’s offense is clicking like mad right now. Both defenses give up a lot, but if GB’s defense can’t make the big stop or big turnover, that should give NO just enough to win.”

    I’d agree with you that the Saints are the best threat. Green Bay’s offense has been a hair off lately – however, they’re still scoring north of 30 most games, and there are 4 games left in the season.

    What you don’t mention is that you have to come to Lambeau in January to play in the cold. While both offenses are going to be affected, Rodgers and the Packers will be used to it. Trust me. I live in that climate and the cold sucks, but it sucks much more if you aren’t used to it.

  26. jaimelh02 says: Dec 8, 2011 11:54 AM

    Raiders most likely will get back Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford for the game

  27. metcalfer says: Dec 8, 2011 11:56 AM

    Anyone thinks the Oakland Raiders win at Green Bay has got to be on drugs. After watching the Raiders play last week against the Dolphins there no way they win against the Packers. Packers 45 Raiders 15.

  28. radrntn says: Dec 8, 2011 11:56 AM

    lets get to the real facts, w/o McFadden, Ford, and Moore, raiders can not really put anybody to a test.

    The only good thing is this game is at 1pm pst, so these guys will not have to get up at 4 in the morning as they normally would have to for an east coast game at 1pm est kick off time.

  29. claymath52 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:00 PM

    Gives up a lot of yards… Another team that gives up a lot of yard – Patriots.

    See you in the Super Bowl Pats fans…!

  30. shep2837 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:02 PM

    raiders win 52-51

  31. bmue42 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:08 PM

    13-0

  32. dawsonleery says: Dec 8, 2011 12:26 PM

    Without McFadden, Ford and Moore Raiders offense doesn’t scare anyone. DHB is decent but its not the same without those big time playmakers.

  33. sschmiggles says: Dec 8, 2011 12:26 PM

    You could say the same thing about the Patriots defense. They’re 4th in creating turnovers.

    But somehow, I don’t think anyone will be standing up for them.

    Pats vs pack would be an epic matchup, possibly the best ever. Pats would have to play a clean game (no turnovers/penalties) to have a good chance.

  34. jonathanfesler says: Dec 8, 2011 12:28 PM

    The whole season so far has been a dream, even if the team stumbles I can bask in the glory of last year for years to come and knowing that we have a general manager and head coach that know how to build a team through the draft and evaluate talent!!! The defense makes big plays when they need to!!! opposing teams can only try to match points with these guys!! “Roll Pack”!!!

  35. slightlyhyphy says: Dec 8, 2011 12:30 PM

    The Raiders receivers actually don’t drop that many passes. They have dropped the third least in the entire NFL. It would also be difficult to determine if they run too many wrong routes unless you have intimate knowledge of the game plan, the play book, and have access to coaches tape.

  36. havok82 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:46 PM

    With all of this, I am surprised no one mentions last year Patriots or Saints teams. The Pats went 14-2 largely because they got turnovers and took care of the football. In one game, they didn’t and they lost. The Saints won a SB primarily with exactly what GB has now. A turnover machine defense. That becomes a problem when you face a team that isn’t turning it over. Now, GB’s offense is great, but so was the 2007 Pats and the colder weather and general pressure wore them down. We’ll see how this shakes out.

    No one is unstoppable. GB is perfect, but like the 2007 Pats, they’ve had to escape some games.

  37. wamj2008 says: Dec 8, 2011 12:55 PM

    Packers 105-104. Raiders score a TD at the end with 00:00 on the clock but Seabass misses the XP.

  38. Deb says: Dec 8, 2011 1:01 PM

    As a Steelers fan, let me key on that phrase “forces a lot of turnovers.” That particular talent played a major role in winning their team a Super Bowl last season. Based on their win/loss record this year, the team doesn’t seem to have suffered much from any defensive setbacks. Just sayin’ …

  39. rexismybff says: Dec 8, 2011 1:02 PM

    Why is there cake at a Packer wedding?
    To keep the flies off the bride.

    How do you know which one is the bride at a Packer wedding?
    Her armpit hairs are braided, and her beard has been trimmed.

  40. chris6523 says: Dec 8, 2011 1:14 PM

    By and large the packers have given up a lot of yards in almost every game. There is a significant difference from game to game in terms of the number of points they give up. Against the better offenses, they’ve given up points as well. The more suspect offenses have had trouble scoring against the pack. The last 4 regular season games look to be the pack defense facing offenses that aren’t elite at the moment. Come playoff time, it would seem likely they are headed for a match up with either the saints or the niners. The saints would score points in bunches against the pack and that game would probably be a shootout like the first one. Against the niners, the pack may be able to keep them under 20.

  41. Cowboys Blue says: Dec 8, 2011 1:17 PM

    raiders win 34-31

    Ah No.

    Packers 55 Raiderettes 17

  42. raiderlyfe510 says: Dec 8, 2011 1:25 PM

    On Sunday all they’ll say is that its Raider Nation’s Day in Green Bay.

    My Raiders could brawl with the best of teams. Not even worried about it. Their problem is that they come Out flat and get smashed by inferior teams. Teams like Green Bay, they usually take it to ‘em.

  43. axespray says: Dec 8, 2011 1:33 PM

    maybe our defense does a reverse 2009 defense…

    you know, how we were the 2nd rated defense in the regular season, then playoff time the D disappeared.

    now we’re the 30th type defense, watch us get like 3 shutout victories in the playoffs or something weird for the sake of being weird.

  44. racerx1225 says: Dec 8, 2011 1:46 PM

    The Raiders are without Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. Those are their 3 most potent weapons on offense and without them, you get what they did against the Dolphins more likely than what they did against the Bears or Vikes.

  45. 7pints says: Dec 8, 2011 1:57 PM

    Raiders get obliterated by the ‘phins and Raider fans still claim they will beat GB… at Lambeau no less. Thank you, guys! You never fail to entertain us. It’s like the really drunk guy at a party who can’t stand up. He’s really an annoying idiot, but you can’t help but laugh.

  46. Nevis says: Dec 8, 2011 1:58 PM

    By virtue of the Raiders’ Jeckyll/Hyde performances and the fact they laid an egg last week, coupled with the Packers/media’s bloated confidence in their ability to remain undefeated….

    Wouldn’t shock me at all if the Raiders beat them in Lambeau.

    Not because they should, but because anything can happen on Sunday. If there’s one thing we should all know by now, it’s that we don’t know week to week, I don’t care who the match up is.

  47. mnpacker says: Dec 8, 2011 1:58 PM

    Week 12 what u see is what u get??? Last year week 12 is when green bays offense started dominating.
    Stop just typing stuff u think sounds good

  48. 1265lombardiave says: Dec 8, 2011 2:12 PM

    The D has issues but getting it to a level similar to the O could be done in one off-season. Packers need another passrusher to free up Clay and replace whats missing w/ Jenkins gone. Preferably from the DE spot but a OLB works too.
    Need a S regardless fo what happens w/ Nick Collins. Another Corner would help..Shields hasn’t been nearly as good this year.

    On offense a pass catching back w/ pure speed..somebody like Best in Detroit would be nice.

    A good young OG and maybe a developmental C to groom behind Wells.

  49. souldogdave says: Dec 8, 2011 2:40 PM

    With all the Raiders skill players that are hurt, this game looks bad for them. Even Schillens is hurt again, he reeks.McFadden only plays maybe half a year at a time.The list goes on. Let Wiz play center, and maybe Bush can break a run or two.Should have kept Hagan. Too bad the rookies got hurt.

  50. raidersfreak says: Dec 8, 2011 2:50 PM

    I hear your dinner comes with some free glass ware in cheese land. Just ask Adrian Peterson.

  51. Gravy says: Dec 8, 2011 2:58 PM

    Packers 197
    Faders 3 (69-yard fg by Jerkokowski)

  52. tsi4431 says: Dec 8, 2011 3:12 PM

    Packers played last week with both starting ILB out as well as no Woodson. Give the backups a full week of knowing they are going to start and this defense should step up quite a bit.
    After Woodson’s injury, the switching around of defensive players proved to be horrible (BUSH).

  53. purpleisreallypinkyouknow says: Dec 8, 2011 4:18 PM

    If the Raiders keep within 14 of the Packers, I would be shocked.

    Keep in mind, home game for Packers…weather will be high 30′s….not even close to cold, but cold enough for the Raiders. Pack has been a bit off for 2 weeks.

    Add in that CPalm has thrown up a pick 6 like 3 weeks running…..I see a complete horse whippin’.

    Pack – 37
    Raidahs – 16

  54. raideralex99 says: Dec 8, 2011 4:32 PM

    The Colts defence looked fine until Manning got injuried.
    When you have Aaron Rodgers he makes alot of team mates look good … the Packer fans better hope Rodgers does not have a bad day or get a dirty Suh hit.

  55. stellarperformance says: Dec 8, 2011 4:41 PM

    Take a look at Capers record wherever he has coached…1st year great, second year OK, third year bad. No exception in Green Bay. They will probably go 16-0 but no further if they don’t get their defensive act together. I am a Packer fan.

  56. toolkien says: Dec 8, 2011 8:02 PM

    Only team that’s beating GB in the NFC is the Saints. GB’s offense, while potent, has been a little off the past few games, and NO’s offense is clicking like mad right now. Both defenses give up a lot, but if GB’s defense can’t make the big stop or big turnover, that should give NO just enough to win.
    ———————————————-

    The way I see the seeding set up NO will have to go to San Fran in the Divisional game and they will lose there. The Saints appear to be awesome in the dome, but are mediocre on the road. They lost to the Rams this year, and lost to the Seahawks last year in the playoffs. The Saints and Pack won’t even meet each other again this year.

  57. rudedog36 says: Dec 8, 2011 9:16 PM

    When the packers are up 21 in every game…..what do you think the other team does? Lots of passing!!! Hello! Why is it so hard to figure it out? When you play the packers, your going to have to score ALOT!!

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